In more ways than one, we have a lot to thank the internet for — the dawn of an era! It has indeed made our lives a thousand times easier and more convenient, and at the same time, it has given birth to a multitude of ideas and tossed in more spices to our already flavorful lives. It has spurred enterprises and industries that were once only a figment of our imaginations, and it also left no rhyme or reason for us to lose touch with our pasts and our presents.
The nascent of networking tools such as Friendster and Facebook has certainly added new meaning to “keeping in touch.” The million-dollar ideas were met with resounding success. These networks provide numerous ways to catch up with lost friends without having to make that awkward phone call or to keep in touch with comrades literally by lifting a single finger (to click on that mouse).
I admit that I have sold out to these fads and trends. It makes stalking all the more fun and easier — especially for incredibly nosy people like me. However, flipping through the pages of these so-called electronic yearbooks have caused me tremendous longing to revisit certain patches of my life. As I look at the long lists of people that are somehow (allegedly) connected to me, I acquire this sad realization that people in our lives come and go like waves crashing in and out of the shores. There are people that have been confined only during certain years in my life, and once I move on to the next few years, they're as good as gone, unfortunately. They are stowed away in a little treasure box in my head that is labeled “Memories [enter year here].” And as I open new chapters in my life, more characters come flitting in and only God knows how long they will last. If it were entirely up to me, I would never wish it to be like this. I would love to simply accumulate friends and never have to lose touch with any of them.
I can almost feel bittersweet smiles playing on my face whenever I decide to take one of these trips down memory lane and revisit the people that have walked through my life at least once. Many of them have moved on with their own lives and have picked up new friends, new partners, new hobbies, new activities — basically, they have started a life that no longer includes me just like how I started a life far away from them. But remembering the lives that we shared once upon a time provokes a yearning of sorts inside me that wants it all over again. Those days, no doubt, have been happy as we frolic about in innocence and grandeur as we anticipate what the future brings. And the future is now here. Surely we would have never believed it would end up like this if the Oracle of Delphi allowed us to take a peep into our own futures back then.
Funny, isn't it, how life can offer so many different forks in the road for us to take? As from childhood, the people that we meet are more or less from the same starting point as us, and as we go on running the marathon of life, we find ourselves going towards different finish lines. Some I cannot believe have ended up where they are and it leads me to question what we had in common back then that actually bound us together. Whilst others, I cannot help but feel a spark of jealousy because they seem genuinely happy — the same kind of serenity and glory that I wish for myself. And others, I feel a pang of curiousity as to how it is to be them for just one day.
We carve our own roads and we meet other racers in the process — some we stick with and some we leave at the curbs, and if we're lucky, we get to meet them again at one point later on. Several miles I have run and I still get surprised how I ended up where I am today with the various turns that I have taken. And as I retrace the roads I've once gone on, I get brought back to memories of those I was running with and I can only wish that they have all found the right roads to take. Unfortunately, the only way for us to find out whether or not we've made the right choices is when we reach the finish line.
Out of the various elements making up my intricate networks, I can count using only my ten fingers those who have stuck running with me. Of course, not all of them run side by side with me, but they all run within a comfortable distance — near enough for me to get guidance when I'm feeling lost but far enough for me to have the proper space that I need. And for these people I exalt and thank the Lord.
It's no big secret that crossroad friends make up quite a chunk of my life especially with my constant hopping around. I am very fortunate for they always impart a little something with me during every encounter. And every single one counts. For without them, I will have no memories. Even if that's all they remain to be — memories — it is still enough to be thankful about. I leave the question up to fate as why they all have to be crossroad friends instead of lifelong friends. But whomever is watching from up above, I have faith that He knows what He's doing. Maybe one day I'll find out. Maybe one day, they will reappear in my life.
For now, my crossroad friends are immortalized with the aid of the Internet. And my bosom friends — they are immortalized in my heart. (You know who you are. And you know I love you)